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Thursday, 2 August 1934

Mr WARD (East Sydney) .- The speeches delivered by honorable members opposite on this proposal are typical of those delivered by them on a number of previous occasions. We have listened to their proposal to take off the hands of the British Government a cruiser of the Leander class and thereby relieve Great Britain of the responsibility for its maintenance. We have heard their suggestion that we should be thankful to Britain for this opportunity. The next war - and there will be other wars - may find another nation opposed to us equipped with armaments manufactured out of materials obtained from Broken Hill, Newcastle, and elsewhere; and our soldiers may be facing bullets which have been supplied from the same source, because the international armament ring will sell wherever it can obtain a profit. Great Britain would just as readily sell a cruiser to Japan. It cannot be denied that Great Britain has gained more from wars of aggression than has any other nation.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Bell - Order!

Mr WARD - If you, Mr. Chairman, are allowing other honorable members to discuss-

The CHAIRMAN - Order !

Mr WARD - Honorable members do not get a fair deal-

The CHAIRMAN - If the honorable member will not discuss the question before the Chair he will not be allowed to proceed.

Mr Nelson - You allowed other honorable members-

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Nelson) is out of order. I remind the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) that if he is deliberately offensive to the Chair, I shall have to take further action.

Mr WARD - The point I am discussing is whether Australia should proceed with the purchase of this cruiser from the British Government, and it has been suggested that we should be thankful to the British Government for providing this vessel at cost price. That being so, it is only fair that we should bo permitted to analyse the position, and ask ourselves whether the Australian Government or the British Government lias reason to congratulate itself on this transaction. We have all heard about the necessity for the preservation of world peace, and at. i he same time a good deal about the professional soldier and professional sailor.

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member is departing from the direction of the Chair.

Mr WARD - It is quite true, as the honorable member for Lang (Mr. Dein) has interjected, that I cannot help honorable members opposite. All that I can do is to tell them something. I cannot supply them with the brains to understand what I am telling them.

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! If the honorable member will not confine his remarks to the question before the Chair I shall not allow him to proceed.

Mr WARD - I am merely applying defence measures against the continual interjections of members of the Government.

The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member for East Sydney to resume his seat-

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